WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Colonial Williamsburg will interpret "The Language of Clothing" in an exhibit of 18th- and 19th-century garments opening Oct. 26 at the Virginia living-history museum. More than 300 garments from its extensive collection of antique fashions will be shown through Oct. 26, 2003, in the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum at Williamsburg. An accompanying book, What Clothes Reveal: The Language of Clothing in Colonial America, will be published in October.

Also, the historic Williamsburg Inn, John D. Rockefeller's comfortable Virginia country estate hotel, has completed a multimillion-dollar renovation. The renewal coincides with the 75th anniversary of Colonial Williamsburg. Hotel features include two 18-hole golf courses, three swimming pools and a fitness center.

Contact: 757-220-7724 or 1-800-447-8679;


AMSTERDAM , Netherlands -- Passengers at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport can pass the time with a Rembrandt and other 17th-century masters as they wait for their planes after the Dutch national Rijksmuseum completes a small extension in the departure hall.


The museum has announced plans for the single-room extension, suspended like a gilded cage over the floor of the lounge, and reached by an S-shaped stairway. A gift shop will be strategically located below.

Among the 10 paintings masters on display will be a 1633 portrait by Rembrandt of a woman thought to be his wife, Saskia, a landscape by Jacob van Ruisdael, and a view of Dutch urban life by Pieter de Hoogh.

Entry will be free to anyone with an airline ticket.


A new source of information for travelers seeking to rent a cottage or a castle in Europe is the 12-page Countryside Vacation Newsletter, which published its first issue in May and plans to publish five issues a year.

The reviews are based on stays at the properties and are written by travelers whom the editor, Susannah Clark, has learned about through the Internet in many instances. For each property, there's a rating, on a scale of 1 to 10 (this will be changed to 1 to 5 in future issues), and the date of the visit (most were in 2001). Sprinkled throughout the issue are suggestions on where to eat and shop and what to see.

The introductory rate for one year is $38. A sample issue is free. Information: Countryside Vacations, Post Office Box 975, Melrose, Mass. 02176; (888) 505-8800 or (781) 979-9394, fax (781) 979-9395;



The remote attractions of Western Alaska's countryside can now be easily experienced from the air. Helicopter tours of the Seward Peninsula and the Bering Strait are being offered in Nome. The excursion, operated by Bering Air, showcases the Sawtooth Mountains, tundra, lakes and streams, waterfalls and wildlife with return flights running parallel to the coastline along the Bering Sea. Each trip is designed around passengers' interests, the season and the weather. Time in the air is about an hour, with one or two stops to take pictures. The tours, offered year-round, cost $200 a person, with a two-person minimum, three-person maximum. Call: (907) 443-5464.

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